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Roommates-Can't Live With Them and Can't Afford to Live Without

Updated on August 6, 2010

Getting Along for the Long Haul

Families large or small must learn to compromise when roommates are concerned
Families large or small must learn to compromise when roommates are concerned

Roommates--Are they a solution or Problem?

   These days of so many single parents trying to make it, families with both parents working and the kids don't see much of them, and still, there doesn't seem to be any easy solutions.  Have you ever tried to rent out a room, or the other way around?  Have you tried to rent a room from another family because you are single and going to school?

  Whatever your situation is, my question is, have you ever tried having a roommate as a solution to the high rents, and fighting to keep your heads above water?

   If you have, you might already know some of what we are going to look at here.  It is so difficult to know who to roommate with.  It was my experience, that I needed to know something of the person before they just moved in with myself and the rest of my family.  I had to know if they were going to be compatible with kids, with animals, with the way we lived, and with my schedule.  This is a lot of finding out.;  How does one get these and many other questions answered in a reasonable fashion without causing any embarrassments, or uncomfortable situations?

   Perhaps getting a friend to move in that is also in need of some financial help.  I have done this, and let me say right here, that it wasn't very long before they were not a friend any longer.  If you want to lose friends, let them move in with you.  Possibly a relative, for you both know what to expect, but there are problems with that too.  For one, you cannot lose a relative like you could a friend.  Whatever problems you make with relatives, is permanent.

   There are so many things to consider, that it might be of interest to name some of them off here, before we go into this any further.

   First, let's go from room to room and figure out what the possible problems may be.  A good place to start might be the bathroom.  I had one roommate that it never failed, every time I needed to use the bathroom, he headed that way towel in hand.  Maybe setting up a bath schedule, or a routine would be of some help here.  Also, I had a horrible conflict with another roommate who refused to buy toilet paper.  Now this might be a very small thing, but  it is a conflict waiting to happen.  Do you just buy and say nothing?  Do you buy your own and take it with you everytime you have to go.  I never remembered it until it was too late.

   So far, in just looking at the bathroom I can see several posible problems.  Timing, money, who will be responsible for cleaning, this is all things that need to be worked out before you let anybody move in or vice versa.

   Let's name the kitchen next.  In the kitchen we have the problem of who cooks, who cleans and who will buy the food, and if you will buy and cook food together, or seperately. Working out a schedule that suits both parties, and their work times, working out times and days for the chores is all a must if everyone is supposed to get along.

   How can this be done both practically, and logically and specifically before everyone moves in together or everything goes sour because of failure to do so?

     For the sake of trying to keep a complicated solution too confusing, lets at least break it down to financial, and chores, as those seem to be the central beginnings of most of the problems.

    As far as who is going to buy what,  I think the best way to break things down is to agree that one way or another, both parties must pay their own ways.  Whether each side buys their own food and prepares it themselves, or if both parties agree that it is easier to eat together and just split the bills down the middle, something to this effect must be agreed upon.

   Next comes the household chores.  Who decides what chores will be done by whom, and I am only speaking about the common areas of the house, for the bedrooms are separate responsibilities, as should be the laundry.

   Once these kinds of things are agreed upon, and the rent is paid on time, everything should run smoothly, as long as something like personality conflicts don't become an issue.  Also pets and kids should be discussed so there will not be any surprises after moving in together.

   I strongly suggest that when getting a roommate, that both parties sit down with paper and pens and even better agree in writing who pays what who is responsible for what chores, and who has dependents, whether they b e children or animals, from the start.  This way there cannot be any disputes regarding any of these things, and lastly but not leastly (haha) go slowly, and don't jump into anything.  The slower it goes, the more likely you are to not have problems, and the more likely you are to get along with those you have chosen to live with.


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  • profile image

    multimastery 7 years ago

    LOVE the title! And it's so true for many people, especially with the cost of living these days. Finding a good roommate is not easy; in fact, it almost like a marriage/relationship in some sense when you're sharing a household with anyone. And that "relationship" must be courteous and respectful from both sides or it's just not gonna work. I've had some terrible roommates in the past e.g. grown folks who don't clean up after themselves; eat up my food; use my toiletries; don't wash out the tub! I'd rather not even fool with roommates after all of this drama.

  • Dorsi profile image

    Dorsi Diaz 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    I rent out 2 rooms and we have a great relationship.

    Thanks for an informative hub - it helps to have rules to start out with that work for everyone.

  • ddsurfsca profile image

    ddsurfsca 7 years ago from ventura., california

    It is very difficult to find the right person, and the right person is usually someone who you know, and knows the way that you and your family are used to living.

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

    Good hub. In my younger days, I had really good luck with my first roommate and very, very bad luck with my second. I've never had another.

  • mod2vint profile image

    mod2vint 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I have never had good luck with room mates. Usually problems start from lack of common courtesy, then works its way to the money thing. I'm no doubt a loner!